Wednesday, December 21, 2011

1st Half Review: Defensemen

While QuackQuack reviews the forwards, I'll be taking a look at what I consider to be the backbone of this year's Terrier squad - the defensive corps.

The Freshman

Alexx Privitera 
The lone freshman on the blue line for the Terriers this season, Privitera saw limited time in the first half - appearing in only 9 of 16 games.  His lack of ice time can be attributed to his often shaky play - whether it be handling the puck or just knowing when and when not to pinch.  His play improved somewhat as the semester went along, and Coach Parker has expressed faith in the young d-man.  As Parker has pointed out, it takes a little bit longer for defenseman to adjust to the college game, and you often notice their mistakes more than the mistakes of a young forward.  Expect to see Privitera stake a claim for a permanent spot in the defensive rotation early on in the second semester.

The Sophomores

Patrick MacGregor
MacGregor has been nicknamed "Truck" by his teammates, and after watching him play it is easy to see why the name is so fitting. Pat Mac is a big kid - and he isn't afraid to put that on display.  Whether battling for pucks along the boards or delivering an open ice check, MacGruber uses his size to his advantage every shift.  That being said, he is prone to taking a few penalties.  This is partly attributed to his size advantage (it's easy for a big guy to make a clean play seem dirty simply because of a size advantage. Just ask Bigos), but is certainly also because MacGregor lacks quickness on his skates and sometimes gets caught out of position.  We think he has the potential to be the top stay at home d-man for this squad, but time will tell on that one.

Adam Clendening
Currently the sole BU player up at the WJC's (that's right Coyle, we've excommunicated you from the Terrier family. No soup for you!), Clendening was one of the best d-men on the roster this past semester.  One of only two of the corps to appear in all 16 games, Clendening posted a 1-11-12 line in the first half.    The only real bad thing we can say about Adam is his tendency to take penalties - he accumulated 14 penalties for 36 penalty minutes, averaging almost a penalty a game.  If he can stay out the box a little more and can keep producing assists for this BU squad, he'll definitely be recognized as one of the top d-men in Hockey East come the end of the season.  That is, of course, assuming he won't jump to the OHL before then (Jokes. Sort of).

Garrett Noonan
Certainly no stranger to our readers here, Noonan has been a fan favorite at BU all semester.  Arguably the best of the group in the first half, Noons tallied 5 goals and 2 assists in 15 games (only missing one game due to injury).  What's nice about Garrett is that he doesn't exactly fit a particular mold for d-men.  He can jump up on the rush, he can stay at home, he can use his body or he can use his stick skills.  One thing is for sure about Noonan though - when he steps on the ice, you can be sure you're going to get 110% effort from him.  However, the same observation about Clendening regarding penalties can be made about Noonan as well - he tallied 14 for 36 minutes, just like Adam did.  While we maintain that some of those penalties were complete crap, you certainly want one of your best defensemen to be on the ice and not in the box.  Look for more of the same from Noonsy in this upcoming semester, but hopefully with a few less penalty minutes.

The Juniors

Ryan Ruikka
While technically a "junior", Ruikka was redshirted due to injury so he will have enough academic credits to graduate after this semester if he so chooses.  But whatever, I'm including him with the juniors. Deal with it. Generally splitting time with freshman Alexx Privitera, Ryan has been only decent thus far this year.  While he showed some upside when he was healthy last season, he seems rather lost out there this season.  In 11 games, he's talled 1 assist and 3 penalties for 6 minutes - definitely what one would consider underwhelming.  On the bright side, we hear he's recently had some success with the ladies after helping them study for exams (not kidding).  Looks like he's been getting some mean using his brain...

Sean Escobedo
The one they call "Scooby" has had an up and down career thus far at BU.  Some games he's cutting down angles and making smart plays with the puck, and others he's making bad pinches and taking dumb penalties.  This past semester, while definitely a step forward for Escobedo, was more of the same.    Appearing in all 16 games, he tallied 3 assists to go along with 26 penalties (on 13 penalties).  He also was tied for the team worst in +/- at -5.  While we were encouraged at times, we hope he can cut down on some of those penalties in the second half.

Max Nicastro
After being called out early on in the year by Coach Parker for his subpar play, Nicastro has really stepped it up to another level in the past month or two.  He no longer jumps at every opportunity to join the rush and instead has been making smart decisions at the blue line.  He's also put up a respectable 1-3-4 line in 15 games (missing one game for cutting class), which is not too shabby for a quasi-stay at home defenseman.  If ole Maxy can be as good on the ice as he reportedly is with the ladies, we have high hopes for his second half.


Matt Ronan
While he hasn't appeared in a regular season game with the Terriers, we'd be remiss if we did not include "the BOD" in our first half review.  Whether he is snapping twigs on slappers in practice, dominating on the dance floor or trolling for followers on twitter (@rice_a_ronan), Ronan does it all with the blue collar determination of a walk-on.  Probably because he is one #walkonproblems.  And for those of you wondering why we are including him in our review of defensemen, then you obviously didn't read our interview with Sahir Gill. So do it. Now. Seriously, just click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment